The Rhodesian ridgeback has a quiet, gentle temperament, rarely barking. Able to enjoy lazing around in the sun, or in front of a fireplace, a ridgeback can be instantly alert if a stranger should appear or when in pursuit of legitimate prey. Developed not only to hunt, but also as a family protector, his affectionate disposition makes him a trustworthy companion for a small child. He is easily trained, being of above-average tractability. However, an untrained ridgeback can become a terrible nuisance. Trained, he is a pleasure as a companion, a hunting partner, or as a show dog or obedience competitor.